Time-trends in air pollution impact on health in Italy, 1990–2019

Published July 25, 2023, in International Journal of Public Health (opens in a new window)



We explored temporal variations in disease burden of ambient particulate matter 2.5 μm or less in diameter (PM2.5) and ozone in Italy using estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019.


We compared temporal changes and percent variations (95% Uncertainty Intervals [95% UI]) in rates of disability adjusted life years (DALYs), years of life lost, years lived with disability and mortality from 1990 to 2019, and variations in pollutant-attributable burden with those in the overall burden of each PM2.5- and ozone-related disease.


In 2019, 467,000 DALYs (95% UI: 371,000, 570,000) were attributable to PM2.5 and 39,600 (95% UI: 18,300, 61,500) to ozone. The crude DALY rate attributable to PM2.5 decreased by 47.9% (95% UI: 10.3, 65.4) from 1990 to 2019. For ozone, it declined by 37.0% (95% UI: 28.9, 44.5) during 1990–2010, but it increased by 44.8% (95% UI: 35.5, 56.3) during 2010–2019. Age-standardized rates declined more than crude ones.


In Italy, the burden of ambient PM2.5 (but not of ozone) significantly decreased, even in concurrence with population ageing. Results suggest a positive impact of air quality regulations, fostering further regulatory efforts.

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Conti S, Fornari C, Ferrara P, et al. Time-Trends in Air Pollution Impact on Health in Italy, 1990–2019: An Analysis From the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. International Journal of Public Health. 2 June 2023. doi: 10.3389/ijph.2023.1605959.